I then remembered that I had a Makita finish sander and because the hand sanding was wearing me out....out came the finish sander and I used 150 grit paper....what a easier job that was. It was a little dustier, but I was willing to pay the price...
Next pic is the after I finished with the finish sander. Much smoother and cleaner! Will make for a very nice surface to work on.
It is hard to see a difference between the 1st pass and the results of the finish sander, but trust me, what it looked like before I started sanding is a far cry from what it looks and feels like now! Here's a pic of the front of the cabinet with the sanded butcher block.
Next step will be finding some mineral oil and treating it. I have other oils such as Teak and Tung oil, but these apparently are not appropriate for butcher block. Tung oil, I've been told is poisonous and should not be used on a food preparation surface, not that this butcher block will be, but who knows what the future holds.